A rally against gun violence in front of the Wilson Library on UNC’s campus Thursday began with a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this month, then erupted with calls for action.

Anti-gun violence rally at UNC. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Representative for North Carolina’s House District Democrat Graig Meyer called the activism of young people against gun violence inspiring.

“I wish that we didn’t have to do this; I wish you could be in your classes; I wish you could be focusing on the things that you came here to study for,” said Meyer. “The truth is that my generation and the generation before me have failed you.”

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger urged student activists to take their enthusiasm to the ballots this fall.

“The mayors across the nation are with you,” said Hemminger. “Use that power, the power of together, get people to vote, speak up, show up, as Representative Meyer said, and make your voices heard.”

North Carolina Congressman David Price said the time for thoughts and prayers has passed.

Anti-gun violence rally at UNC. Photo via Blake Hodge.

“We’ve heard it so many times, ‘we want to send out our thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims’. We’ll there’s nothing wrong with thoughts and prayers, but there’s a lot wrong with it when it’s a cover for inaction,” said Price.

The UNC Young Democrats will be continuing the fight against gun violence by phone banking Friday.